Jan 20, 2022 8:27 AM
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"I mean, I'm sure they've got ancient magical secrets, but not a particular concentration thereof - I'd go for Azlant, anyone would, and if you're constraining the places you'd go for to ones where learning you're studying it doesn't suggest any supernatural abilities, I'd study ancient Osirion - and then there's 'Even Barons of Hell can't afford to buy the souls of Project Lawful girls in Dis's markets.'"

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"No that's, uh, just true."

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"Right. Okay. So I take it we have a full list of all the Project Lawful girls based on price spikes in Hell, then? Is there some kind of unifying feature -"

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"We have a list, I don't know if it's a full list, it doesn't have Carissa Sevar on it and it seems pretty well attested that she's an involved party and maybe there are some more who didn't sell their souls or whose having sold their souls isn't widely known in Hell. The names are all girl wizard students of the most recent graduating class in Ostenso."

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" - that raises several questions. One, can we help any of their families defect or something. Two, what share of girl wizard students in the graduating class does that represent, do we know any wizarding students in that class not to be on the project, distinguishing features? Three, Ostenso's where the interdiction is so I guess that confirms what's up with that. 

 

Four, why girls."

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"One obvious hypothesis is that our stolen cleric is able to get books from the First Vault - or whatever he does - through a sorcerous bloodline and they're trying to breed it. That's the first thing everyone comes up with, because otherwise why girls, but - I don't know, it's still sort of unsatisfying? It wouldn't make their souls all that valuable, that'd have to be something transferrable to them directly, owning a soul doesn't give you a claim on its offspring. ...also I flatter You that any cleric of Yours would think to demand to be permitted a Sending to the head of Your church before having a bunch of children in Cheliax."

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"They might've lied about who that is. They're, you know, Cheliax, I'm not actually sure that not-lying is something they know how to do. What other theories have you got, though."

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Merenre looks back down at the paper. "If an event worth celebrating happens to you, one of the girls on Project Lawful will already be standing behind you and will offer you cake.  It's good cake and eating it seems to be completely safe as far as anyone can tell.  Nobody knows what happens if you refuse to eat it."

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"Okay, that has got to be false. They've been inside a Forbiddance for the last four days."

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"Almost certainly. But if it's not false, uh, I do wonder what the range is."

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" - you know what? Sure. Find someone whose wife is very close to giving birth, send them out with high-level escorts to an inn a couple of blocks from the capital in Egorian - completely licit travelling adventuring party - Sending them when the baby is born, and if we get a cake girl, remand her to Osirion in order to investigate her role in the imprisonment in Cheliax of Our cleric."

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"If she can teleport like that -"

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"- fair enough, remand her to a demiplane."

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"Not to Aktun?"

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"We've had enough godwars to last a century, all told, and that seems likelier to spark one. We can move her there later if it seems like a good idea. - this is almost definitely not going to work."

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"Yes, I put it in the less than five percent category. Which is to say, if it does work -" Despairing gesture at the beads on his desk. 

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"What else is at more than five percent."

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"One of the girls on Project Lawful who died during the Nidal attack got sorted to Elysium' - seems pretty likely. 'And then came back -' almost certainly not, but maybe they substituted a replacement in order to not have an embarrassing incident, or maybe they were holding her family hostage, or capable of threatening her even in Elysium.

'One of the Project Lawful girls used 5 different cantrips in a day' - fits with my going theory, but I want to hear yours first -"

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"My theory is that our priest figured out something really important and Cheliax is throwing an absurd number of distractions at him to prevent him from realizing how important it is or telling anyone else about it, and the distractions are causing all these absurd rumors."

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"Possible. Mine is that the thing our priest figured out is something like a way to give sorcery to people who aren't born with it. INT-based sorcery, presumably, or why have a bunch of wizard students as test subjects. With some special abilities that are really, stunningly valuable, and expected to carry over on death, thus the rise in prices in Hell. And something that produces the reports of - the girls also being clerics, the girls having too many cantrips, the girls doing things that shouldn't be possible -"

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"If you can do that at all - maybe you test it first on wizard students from Ostenso but then you start empowering everyone -"

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"Well, maybe they planned to, and Otolmens put Her foot down. Or maybe they want to wait more than five days to see if it has side effects. It's not totally satisfactory, though, it gives no explanation at all for the question of why girls."

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"Some bloodlines are only expressed in girls."

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" - how sure are we that our priest is a 'he'. Did You directly observe that."

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